Utility Customers Targeted in Pre-Paid Debit Card Scam

Utility Customers Targeted in Pre-Paid Debit Card Scam

5:00am Sep 18, 2013
Utility customers are targeted in phone scam.
Chris Campbell

Duke Energy is alerting its customers about a nationwide scam targeting utility customers.  Duke spokesperson, Kristina Hill, says these thieves make calls threatening to turn off the electricity in an hour if the customer doesn’t get a pre-paid debit card to pay off the amount they say is due. 

"They instruct customers to go out to a local store, purchase a pre-paid debit card, and call the scam artist back with the account information for the pre-paid debit card," she says. "What that does is give the scam artist access to immediately drain the funds from the card.”

Hill says the scam artists are calling from disposable cell phones or untraceable numbers, and they’re not even sure if the callers are from this country. She says people should be alert for what she calls two red flags if they get a call from someone saying they’re from Duke Energy:

  • If someone is threatening them with immediate service disconnection
  • If you have someone telling them to go buy a pre-paid debit card to make a payment

Hill says Duke Energy doesn’t do either of these things. She says customers who suspect fraud or who feel threatened during contact with a scam artist should hang up and call local police, then Duke Energy.

NC/SC customers of Duke Energy - 800-777-9898NC/SC customers of Duke Energy Progress - 800-452-2777

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